Legal Highlights of Domestic Violence Cases in Nepal
This article highlights on overall domestic violence and its legal remedy in Nepal.
1. What is Domestic Violence?
- Domestic violence is the physical, mental, sexual and economic damage to someone from a close person. It comes from close relatives in any phase of life as an act in any relationship like: – it is of nature of moving from person to person, daughter to daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law.
According to Sec 2(a) of Domestic Violence (Offence and Punishment Act, 2066) of Nepal,
- “Domestic Violence” means any form of physical, mental, sexual and economic harm perpetrated by person to a person with whom he/she has a family relationship and this word also includes any acts of reprimand or emotional harm.
2. What are the governing laws of domestic violence in Nepal?
Governing laws of domestic violence includes;
- Domestic Violence (Offence and Punishment Act, 2066)
- Domestic Violence (Offence and Punishment Rules, 2067)
- Muluki Criminal Code, 2074
4.Forms/Nature of Domestic Violence in Nepal
(a) Physical Violence
Physical pain, beating, burning, kicking, punching, strangulation, slapping, hitting, illegal detention, bodily injury with acid or other similar substances like using weapons or objects and many more.
(b) Mental Torture
Showing terror activities, accusing of false blame, insulting, stalking, defamation, humiliation, name-calling by using abusive language, physical appearance, anxiety disorder, depression, withholding others, incitement to commit suicide, or creating a situation of suicide and so on.
(c) Sexual harm
Any practice with sexual content that is forced, such as attempted rape, unwanted caresses, and forced oral sex.
(d) Economic harm
Includes property damage, use of private property or to deprive people of access to or use of employment or financial resources, lost earning capacity, to demand dowry, deprivation of one partner from enjoying jointly or privately owned property, deprivation to employment opportunities, economic resources, or means.
5. Who can file a complaint or a case against domestic violence in Nepal?
Generally, a person who has knowledge of an act of domestic violence being committed, or is likely to be committed, can file domestic violence case in Nepal.
Others concerned person who can file domestic violence includes;
- Father, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law.
- Adopted son and adopted daughter.
- The person living with the same family as a worker.
6. Concerned Authority to file for a domestic violence case in Nepal
The person who is the victim of domestic violence can complain against the domestic violence in the following authority:
- The Women Cell
- The nearby Police Office
- District Courts of Nepal.
7. How does the National Women Cell deals with the cases of domestic violence?
The first and foremost thing, the victim of domestic violence must do is to complain about the violence in the related Women Cell of the nearby Police Station. Other steps include;
Step 1: The victim must visit to the Women Cell along with the written application mentioning the details of the violent acts being committed against them and asking for protection of their bodily health known as “Shanti Surakshya Nibedan”
If the victim cannot visit there by himself/herself then, anyone can complain on behalf of them.
Step 2: The officer there then, after receiving of application calls the person who has caused domestic violence.
Step 3: Both the offender and the victim are kept side by side and then the officer asks the offender to stop those violent acts if the applicant is found to be the victim of domestic violence.
Step 4: Efforts are being made to settle the matter between the two parties.
Step 5: In the failure to settle the matter between two parties, it recommends to initiate a lawsuit.
8. How does the Police Office deals with the cases of domestic violence?
Step 1: Complaint is filed by the victim
Step 2: After the complaint has been filed, the Police Office shall produce the offender within 24 hours of the complaint (excluding the time travel)
Step 3: Arrest is done only if the offender refuses for the statement.
Step 4: Necessary medical health check-up is done of the victim if found physically or mentally tortured.
Step 5: Injury report is drawn from the hospital.
Step 6: Immediate protection and assistance to the victim.
Step 7: Statement recording is performed.
Step 8: Reconciliation between the parties within 30 (thirty days) of the registration of complaint if the victim so desires.
Step 9: If not reconciled then, the case is filed to the court.
9. Case proceeding of Domestic Violence in the District Court
- An individual being the petitioner
- Government of Nepal being the petitioner.
An individual being the petitioner
The person who is the victim of the domestic violence can directly file a case in the concerned District Court with below steps:
Step 1: Documentation is prepared mentioning all the facts of how the person becomes the victim of domestic violence.
Step 2: Collection of proof as well mentioning of those collected proof in the documentation.
Step 3: Filing of petition in the concerned District Court along with the physical copy of the proof.
Step 4: After petition has been filed, the court then provides notice of petition to another party.
Step 5: Another party then appears in the court with his/her written statement or reply.
Step 6: The court provides for the hearing date.
Step 7: Trial procedure begins in the court.
Step 8: Examination of witness is conducted.
Step 9: Examination of evidence and the court passes any kind of order in different phase of trial process.
Step 10: If the petitioner so wishes, then he/she can anytime withdraw the cases in any phase of case proceeding.
Step 11: Final verdict would be given by court after examining all the facts and evidence and the court comes into conclusion as what would be the final verdict.
Government of Nepal being the petitioner
- Overall, all the procedures are same as above. The only difference is, the victim directly cannot file a petition in the court.
- The Government of Nepal, on behalf of the victim proceeds the case in the court only when,
- The offender fails to appear for statement in the police office prior to the complain made to the police office.
- The Officer cannot present the offender in the Office for statement
- The parties fail to settle their dispute through reconciliation
- The Officer then, forwards the case file to the court (mentioning the complaint with all details, along with evidence and other legal documents).
- Case should be forwarded within fifteen days from the expiration date
- The Court shall proceed the case as per Domestic Violence (Offence and Punishment Act, 2066)
- Proceedings to be held in closed session.
- Public Attorney shall adjudicate on behalf of the victim.
10. Punishment on the act of Domestic Violence
|Act of Domestic Violence||Rs.3,000-Rs.25,000||6 months imprisonment or both|
|Disobeys the Court order||Rs.2,000-Rs.15,000||4 months imprisonment or both|
|Attempts, abets or incites to commit domestic violence||Half the punishment of the offender|
|Punished once for the offence||Double the punishment upon every repetition of the offence|
|Person holding public post commits the offence||Additional 10% punishment|
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